Google Shopping, the new version of Google Product Search, is being rolled out and it could have a huge impact on your current product listings. Previously, Google Shopping Ads were free, showed up in the middle of the search results page and contained links to merchant pages. With Google Shopping, these will be replaced by Google Product Listing Ads, which are paid and will show up next to the standard AdWords listings and contain specific product titles, images and prices.
Results Before Google Shopping
Google Shopping Results
Even though there have been some big changes to the way you sell your products on Google, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) have shown great results for merchants since launching in 2010:
- 600% increase in traffic to advertisers
- 2X the click-through-rate of text ads in the same location for these shopping queries
- Conversion increase of 3.1%
- Average order size increase of 5.5%
- Total performance increase of 8.6%
These listings are populated by the Merchant Center feed that you can submit via your current Merchant Center account. Since product listings don’t use keywords, you will be using attributes to describe products in your Merchant Center product feed. You will then determine your bids based on your business goals. Because this is a paid inclusion model, optimization of your attributes and bids will be very important. Here are some attribute examples for products sold on Google Shopping US:
When creating your data feed, keep in mind that data quality is very important to Google. In fact, you will be able to check the quality of your data under the data quality tab in the Merchant Center. This tab will give you an overview of any existing issues with your PLAs and product pages so you can quickly address anything that may be preventing shoppers from easily finding your products.
Here are several recommendations to ensure that your data is of the highest quality:
- Update your feed daily
- Use the “rel=canonical” tag on your website
- Submit high-quality images – 400×400 pixels is ideal, but do not resize images before submitting
- Include all relevant and specific information in your product titles and descriptions
- Always follow Google’s editorial guidelines
You can read more about providing high-quality data on the Merchant Center “help” page.
On October 1st, Google Shopping will become a fully commercial experience, and free product listings will no longer be available. As this date approaches and you work to complete your transition to Google Shopping, there are some other important dates to keep in mind:
- Before August 1st: Sign up and integrate Google Trusted Stores
- Sign up here: Google Trusted Stores
- Before August 15th: Sign up for Product Listing Ads with a minimum bid for all of your products
- Retailers that promote their entire online inventory by this date will be eligible for special incentives. You can sign up for these incentives here.
- By October 1st: Optimize bids by category and product
- By October 9th: Place the Trusted Stores badge on your site
- By November 1st: Promote your special offers for the holiday season
- Ongoing: Fine-tune bidding and budgets
Google Shopping represents an exciting change that will encourage merchants to provide higher-quality data, which will lead to better shopping results for users and better traffic for retailers. Fathom will be posting updates on Google Shopping to keep you informed during the next few months. Be sure to check back to the blog regularly and contact us if you have any questions.